Sister María Imelda Quechol and Sister Eloísa Torralba Aquino, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus “Ad Gentes” who serve in Chattanooga, have been selected as finalists for Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi Award.
The Lumen Christi Award is Catholic Extension’s highest honor given to people “who radiate and reveal the light of Christ present in the communities where they serve.”
Each year, Catholic Extension dioceses across the country submit nominations for the award. From these nominees, several finalists are selected, followed by the recipient.
“They remind us that faith is still a relevant force in our society and culture. They remind us that there is so much energy and generosity in our Church. They remind us that there are people willing to sacrifice for the good of others. These humble heroes of our Church are sources of hope for us and our country,” said Father Jack Wall, Catholic Extension president.
“This year, 34 dioceses submitted nominations for this award, each of which celebrate the humble heroes who are having a powerful impact on others through their actions, leadership, and faithfulness,” Catholic Extension said in a statement.
“Seven of these nominees have been chosen as award finalists and will receive $10,000 to support and enhance their ministry. From among these finalists, the 2021-22 Lumen Christi Award recipient will ultimately be selected and given a $25,000 grant, along with an additional $25,000 grant for the nominating diocese,” Catholic Extension added.
“During this past year in which many of our schools, church buildings, and places of business ‘went dark,’ we are reminded that the light of Christ never went out in our midst. The stories of these Lumen Christi Award finalists show us the many places and ways that the light of Christ has been shining brightly all along,” Catholic Extension continued.
The Diocese of Knoxville has been recognized with five Lumen Christi Award finalists over the years, more finalists than any other diocese in the United States has had.
Former Hispanic Ministry director Lourdes Garza was twice a finalist. The Glenmary priests and brothers; Sister Mariana Koonce, RSM, former medical director of the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, and Jim Romer of St. Christopher Parish in Jamestown were each finalists once.
Read more about Sister Eloísa and Sister Imelda at www.catholicextension.org/lumen-christi-award/lumen-christi-award-finalists/.